Gel blasters are toy guns that shoot gel balls or gel beads. This article discusses everything you would need to know about gel blaster balls.
We shall focus on what gel blaster balls are, how to make them, how long a batch lasts, and answers to frequently asked gel blaster balls questions.
Keep reading to learn more about gel balls:
What Are Gel Blaster Balls?
Gel blaster balls are also called gel beads, gel rounds, or gellets.
They are tiny balls made with a superabsorbent polymer, and when soaked in water, they expand, making them ready to use as gel blasters ammo.
Gel balls come in different colors, with some having unique features, like glow-in-the-dark gellets!
They also come in different sizes and densities, depending on the gel blaster maker and model, but most gel beads grow to 7-8mm after soaking.
In a later section, we shall discuss how to soak gel blaster balls, the time required, and other factors that affect how long you need to soak your gel balls.
Right now, though, let’s continue learning more about gel beads:
Are gel blaster balls safe?
Gel beads are generally non-toxic, biodegradable, and designed to be safe to use in outdoor and indoor environments.
The polymer used to make gel blaster balls is usually sodium polyacrylate, a common polymer in disposable diapers and sanitary pads because of its super absorbent nature.
As an important note and point to remember, even though gel blaster balls are usually non-toxic and biodegradable, you should not ingest them.
Now you know what gel blaster balls are, the material used to make them, and their safety.
Let’s now turn our attention to growing them:
Gel Blaster Balls Growing Guide for Beginners
“How do we grow perfectly sized gellets” is one of the most common questions about gel blasting.
Let’s answer this question clearly:
How to make perfect gel blaster balls
When you get your gel balls, whether as part of your gel blaster starter kit or as accessories to your pro kit, they will be tiny dehydrated beads that come in a package similar to the one shown in the image below:
To use them with your gel blaster gun, you must soak them in water, something most people find challenging, even though the process is relatively easy.
Here is the truth:
To grow gel blaster balls, you only need to soak your gellets in room temperature, warm, or hot water for 3-4 hours–this is for Ferventoys gellets; if you buy your gel beads from another brand, follow the provided instructions.
However, no matter where you buy your gel blaster balls, you will use a similar process to soak and grow them.
What can affect how long gel blaster balls take to grow?
Growing gel balls hinges on three main factors, namely:
Gel blaster balls expand once hydrated. That is why you need enough space to accommodate this growth.
To get perfectly-sized gellets, use a container that can comfortably accommodate your hydrated beads, depending on how many beads you want to make.
Soaking your gel beads in a large-enough container is one of the main secrets to growing the perfect gel balls. You should ensure that after your gellets have expanded to their desired size, there is room left in the growing container.
Another crucial thing to note about the space–or the container you use to soak your gel balls–is that an airtight container can make a big difference, especially if you don’t intend to use all your beads immediately.
Ideally, making gel beads in batches is better than making a big batch, then storing them because the latter is a bit more involved–don’t worry; we shall discuss how to make and store a big batch.
PRO TIP: If you prefer making a big batch of gel balls and then storing them, consider investing in a collapsible ammo tub designed for hydrating and storing gel blaster balls.
Water plays an important role in growing the perfect gel blaster balls, and the factor applies in two ways:
The quality and:
The amount of water.
Remember to soak your gel balls in enough water; this is the best way to ensure they grow to the correct/desired size.
TIP: Use enough water such that after your gel balls have grown to the correct size, you still have some water left in your growing tub. However, you can keep adding more water until your gel balls are a perfect size.
With water quality, you can use any clean water source. However, you will get better results when you use distilled or filtered water because some water sources can have residual chemicals that affect how your gel beads grow.
Cold water may affect how well and fast some gel blaster balls grow. Therefore, avoid it; use room temperature, warm, or hot water for better results.
3: Soaking time
Most gel blaster balls typically need 3-4 hours of soaking time. However, some gel blaster ball brands allow for overnight soaking. That is why reading and following the instructions on the gel beads pack is crucial to the growing process.
One way to know if your gel beads have soaked for the appropriate time is to check if they are translucent and measure them. The perfect size is 7-8mm.
NOTE: Do not use under-hydrated or dry gel beads because they can damage your blaster, affect its performance, or even lead to injuries.
Other factors that influence the gel ball growing process are:
- Temperature: Water at room or warmer temperatures will cause the gel balls to expand quicker; colder water will slow down the growing process.
- Type of water: Tap water can contain minerals that can negatively affect the growth rate. That is why it is better to use distilled or purified water for the best results.
- Gel ball type: Softer gel ball beads do not need to soak as long as harder ones because softer ones have higher absorbency.
- Size: Smaller gel beads typically grow faster than larger ones because of surface area considerations.
- Brand of gel balls: Different gel blaster brands may use different gel compositions, affecting the expansion time needed to grow gel blaster balls.
- Quantity of gel balls: A larger quantity of gel balls may take longer to grow to the ideal size than a smaller quantity.
Let’s focus a bit more on how long it takes to grow the perfect gel balls:
How long do gel blaster balls take to grow?
Typically, your gel beads should take 3-4 hours to grow to the recommended 7-8mm.
However, because of the factors like water quality, quantity, temperature, manufacturers’ recommendations, and the size of your growing tub, you may need to soak your gel blaster balls for 3-8 hours before they are the right size.
That is why taking a few out and measuring them is the best way to know when your gel beads are the right size. Remember that some gel ball brands require overnight soaking; follow the gel beads pack instructions.
The best way to ensure your gel beads grow to the desired size fast is to soak them properly.
What is the right way to soak gel balls?
Below is a handy explainer video showing how to soak your gel balls properly until they are 7-8mm.
Watch the video or follow the written instructions below.
- Prepare a large container that can hold the gel balls you want to soak; for example, if you want a big batch for gel blasting fun with your family, you can use a sizeable collapsible ammo tub or a gel ball storage bottle.
- Add the dry gel beads to the container.
- Add your room temperature, warm, or hot water to the container or collapsible tub.
- Allow the balls to soak for 3-4 hours or even overnight in some cases. The longer you soak the balls, the more hydrated they will become, but remember not to overdo it and to follow the instructions on the pack.
- Check the balls periodically to see if they are the right size: 7-8mm.
- Once the gel beads are the right size, drain off any excess water and start using them. You can also store them in a cool and sealed place until you want to use them.
NOTE: You can use hot water to soak gel blaster balls, but remember that some gel ball brands do not tolerate that well and may deform. That is why you should always follow the instructions on the pack.
As you know, you will have the best experience if you make your gel beads in batches as you need them. You can, however, also make and store a big batch, but that storing process is a bit more involved.
Let’s talk about gel ball storage options:
How to Store gel Balls
The best way to store your gel beads is in a cool, airtight, and dry container, kept away from direct sunlight or other heat sources.
Keeping them in an airtight container and away from a direct heat source ensures they do not dry out.
How Long Does A Big Batch Of Gel Blaster Balls Last?
The lifespan of hydrated gel balls is significantly shorter than the lifespan of dry gel balls. Storing them in the optimum conditions will ensure they can last three months or longer.
That said, the exact lifespan will depend on the degree of moisture and temperature exposure. However, in a typical case, using readily available resources like a bucket to grow them, gel balls can last up to two weeks or more when hydrated.
Gel Blaster Balls FAQ
Here are answers to the most common questions about how long gel blaster balls grow.
1. How big do gel blaster balls get?
Gel blaster balls should grow to 7-8mm–the ideal gel ball size for most blasters. However, the size of the balls varies depending on the specific product.
2. How much water for gel balls? How much water for 10, 000 gel balls
How much water you need to soak gel blaster balls depends on how many gel balls you want to soak. Use enough water to submerge the gel balls.
For 10,000 gel balls, you will need a large container and several liters of water. Use a ten gallons container, and start with around ten liters of water, then add more water as needed.
3. How long do gel balls last out of water?
The lifespan of hydrated gel blaster balls depends on factors like temperature, humidity, and type of gel balls. Typically, well-kept gel balls can last up to 3 months if stored in the right conditions: a sealed container or bag.
4. Can airsoft guns shoot gel balls?
Airsoft guns cannot shoot gel balls because gel balls and airsoft BBs are two different types of ammo used by different toy guns: airsoft guns and gel blasters.
We have a blog comparing gel blasters to airsoft guns.
5. Does getting shot by a gel ball hurt?
Getting shot by a gel blaster ball hurts a little and may feel like a slight stinging sensation. However, gel balls do not hurt as much as paintballs.
6. Are gel blaster balls toxic to dogs?
Swallowing many gel balls can be toxic enough to cause gastrointestinal issues in canines and humans.
That is why it is important to keep the beads away from kids and pets and to keep a watchful eye on pets and minors during gel-blasting family fun.
Remember the three key things you need to ensure when soaking gel beads. These are:
- The correct size container.
- The right amount of water.
- The correct amount of time.
Always read the instructions on your gel balls pack or check the manufacturer’s website to learn how to soak your gel balls properly.
Generally, if you remember all the factors we have discussed, it should be easier to grow perfect gel blaster balls every time.
If you’re looking for gel blaster balls or the next gel blaster to add to your collection or to give to your kids, remember to check out our wide range of gel blasters for all levels: starter, intermediate, and pro.
We’re sure you’ll find something you like.